|Marya Ilyinichna Belova|
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The joke pulls a genuine chuckle from Marya. That was a popular joke in the Reclamation, considering how often the clerics got stuck brewing holy water to toss at devils. It felt strange hearing it again so long after, but it brought back memories of nights at ease with friends and lovers. ”You’ve got good delivery. And all of what you’re describing sounds wonderful. A great father and husband. Both of you, I’m sure. Really, I am not sure how to say just how happy I am for you.” Marya doesn’t even feel the slightest tinge of jealousy. Happiness isn’t a zero sum game. People can just be happy for each other, surprisingly enough.
In fact, Marya is finding herself enjoying this mutual sharing, especially with someone who understands so well. ”Hilde hated comedy. I know, it surprised me, too. I said something like ‘Who in the hells hates comedy?’ She said too many comedians are just bullies, and she didn’t care enough to spend time teasing out the ones that aren’t. So instead of comedy, she was silly. Would just start singing. Make up a tune or switch out the words in a folk song to be about a cat or how horrible hardtack tastes. Just randomly decide to talk in a completely different accent, no explanation. She’d play around seeing what kinds of sounds she could make.” Hilde didn’t like to talk about her past, but Marya knew she had been ostracized for her orc heritage and had endured some great trauma. Marya suspected that whatever it was, it was how Hilde picked up her habits of entertaining herself.